Dozens Of Horses Found Abused On Mayes County Property
Friday January 28, 2005 4:46pm</B> Posted By: Kevin King
Chouteau - Animal neglect and abuse is a major problem in Oklahoma, especially when it comes to horses. Tulsa's Society For the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals receives dozens of calls a month reporting equine abuse. But, one in Mayes County is called one of the worst yet.
People buy animals all the time. But, some might not realize the amount of effort that goes into keeping them healthy. This is one of those cases.
"It was one of the most upsetting things I have ever seen," said animal cruelty
investigator DeJay Cameron. She says she has never seen anything like it.
"The fur was wearing off the points of their bones," she says.
Sixty-eight horses were left starving, unable to walk to food even if it was available.
An 82-year-old Chouteau man confined his herd to a mere 15 acres of over-grazed pasture. Twenty-eight of the horses were taken into custody. The others are still there.
"It wasn't a matter that he wasn't out there trying, it was that his efforts were not enough."
Or that his efforts were pointed in the wrong direction.
"He came after us in his truck and tried to run us over in his truck," said assistant cruelty investigator Scott Shackelford.
Shackelford has been there from the beginning.
"They were so hungry they were chewing the bark off trees," he says.
Starvation isn't the only problem. Breeding was not controlled, grazing was unavailable and horses were covered with parasites inside and out, their fur matted in rain rot.
Two horses were found dead. The remains of others stretched across the pasture. And, the recovery of the rest will be slow.
"Most of them would have never made it out of that pasture."
The man who owns the horses has not been charged with animal cruelty. And, a majority of the horses will be sold at a Tulsa stockyard auction on February third. If you would like to help out, contact the TSPCSA at 918-428-7722. </B></STRONG></SPAN></B></STRONG></SPAN>